I Corinthians 3:5-16
The Bible is filled with the lives and times of some sometimes not-so-great people. It’s also filled with simple things; truths that affect both this life and the life to come. And it deals with the things you ought to do. Today I want to focus on why you do the things you do.
Motives. Only you and your LORD know your motives and what motivates you.
Rewards. Take, for a moment, the sacrifices you have made for the LORD and His kingdom. Do you think that if you’ve given up a lot that the LORD will some day reward you for it? How about your personal suffering or even persecution? Or, your labors for the LORD? Do you think maybe you’ll be getting like maybe a reward that is say a hundred times more in the next world than what you gave up in this world? And what about the Apostles; do you really think the Apostles cared whether or not they’d be getting rewards?
As you are about the see, the LORD does have a bit to say about rewards in the Bible. So I’ve titled today’s sermon “Rewards.” I think it’s worth our while considering just what the Bible says about this subject. Shall we pray?
Let me begin with the words of Jesus.
Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Doesn’t that sound like a reward for your suffering? Here’s verse eleven. (11) “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
(12) Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Now I realize that there are some who might say it’s not appropriate to do service for the LORD, to suffer persecution and expect a reward. After all, that’s mercenary, isn’t it? But, as you must always ask, “What does the Scripture say about it?”
Here’s the subject from the viewpoint of one of the Apostles.
Matthew 19:27 “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
(28) And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
(29) And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, [that’s one hundred times more] and shall inherit everlasting life.”
Do you see that Jesus gives to Peter a thoughtful and careful and truth-filled answer?
He reminds the Apostles that for those who follow Him, when He, Jesus, shall sit on the throne of glory, they will also sit with Him on the twelve thrones of Israel and carry out their responsibilities as a judge.
That’s the matter of rewards from the lips of Jesus. Here’s a word from the Apostle Paul.
I Corinthians 3:8 “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.”
And notice this word from the Apostle John to his friends.
II John 1:8 “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.”
Matthew 5:12 “…for great is your reward in heaven…”
Matthew 19:29 “…shall receive an hundredfold…”
And I Corinthians 3:8 “shall receive his own reward…”
II John 1:8 “…but that we receive a full reward.”